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Youth of the Year


Mahlik A. Smith Youth of the Year 2015

It is with great pleasure, that Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland introduces Mr. Mahlik A. Smith as the 2015 Youth of the Year. As such, Mahlik serves as a positive role model and an inspiration for all of Oakland’s youth, including our 2,500 student-members. Having first set foot in our Leonard J. Meltzer Clubhouse in West Oakland at the age of five, Mahlik has been a consistent presence at our Club for over 11 years. At the Club, Mahlik has taken on many leadership roles. Whether tutoring younger members, participating in Keystone Club volunteer projects, or coaching younger athletes in the sports of baseball and basketball. Mahlik always finds a way to lead his peers. In his community, Mahlik is an active member of the Youth Outreach Program at his church. He serves on the City of Oakland’s Youth Commission Advisory Board, speaking up for and giving voice to Oakland’s youth. In 2014, through his many hours of community service benefitting the City of Oakland, he earned the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Community Service Award. As a senior at McClymonds High, Mahlik is looking forward to graduating this June having maintained a GPA above 3.5 throughout high school. He aspires to attend Hampton University as a pre-medical student. READ ON - 

Erin McGhee Youth of the Year 2014

Youth of the Year 2014 Ms. Erin McGhee.jpg

BGCO is proud to present Ms.Erin McGhee who has earned honors as our outstandingYouth of the Year.

 As such, Erinliterally puts a face on our 2,500 student-member enrollment which spans 3 flatland Oakland neighborhoods.

Erin, a 6-year member of our Ossian E. Carr Branch and a 16 year-old high school Junior, is on a trajectory that has her graduating on time in June, 2015. Her goals include business ownership or to become an executive with a nonprofit. To that end, Erin plans to earn her undergraduate degree from California State University - San Diego.   

Erin is the eldest of four siblings and will be the first in her family to attend college, and certainly the first to graduate. Coming of age in a single parent inner-city household; with a mom who has her own substantial issues to overcome, Erinstrives to make her mom proud. We are sure that she is, and rightfully so. We are glad that mom heeded the advice of a community reference who suggested she enroll Erin in BGCO’s Ossian E. Carr Branch.

Azeb Berhane Youth of the Year 2013                       


Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland is proud to introduce Azeb Berhane as our outstanding Youth of the Year for 2013, our Diamond Jubilee 75th Charter Anniversary.  The youngest of five siblings born to African immigrants, Azeb joined BGCO’s Anna Marie Whalen Branch the second week after it opened in September, 2004. “Joining the Club was the best decision of my life” says Azeb. “If the Club didn’t exist, I can’t imagine what I would be doing and the kind of trouble I would have gotten myself in.”

“The Club has been like my second home and, from time to time, it could be my first.” “The Staff and members are like family to me and I feel like they truly care about me and how I do in life.” READ ON -